The Northeast Florida Alumni Chapter takes their efforts to the next level
During Leaders’ Weekend in Columbia (September 18-19, 2015), the Northeast Florida Mizzou Alumni Chapter, was recognized by the Columns Program as one of the alumni association’s fastest-growing and highest-achieving chapters.
Launched in 2011, the Columns Program recognizes alumni chapters that go above and beyond the call of duty. Columns Chapters complete 12 required activities, such as hosting student-engagement events and maintaining an online presence; each is then recognized with a $1,000 scholarship to award to a local Mizzou student. Capstone Chapters complete all Columns-level activities plus additional activities, such as working with the Mizzou Legislative Network and hosting academic-theme events; each is recognized with a $4,000 scholarship. This year, MAA has 50 Capstone Chapters, up from 28 in 2011.
In April 2015, the Northeast Florida Mizzou Alumni Chapter participated in One Spark, an annual crowdfunding event held in downtown Jacksonville. The Capstone Chapter added to the festival atmosphere, hosting a booth and handing out Mizzou swag to the nearly 300,000 attendees. The Gators and Seminoles in attendance were surprised to see the Tigers so well represented, and Krueger says he met 30 Mizzou parents and even recruited a new member, *Sara Bellchamber, BSF ’01, MS ’04. “They are small but mighty,” Jayson Meyer, director of alumni engagement for MAA, says of the chapter.
Formed in the late 1990s, the chapter serves about 500 alumni living in the area. The chapter’s growth can be attributed to its diversity of events and programs. In March 2015, members dined with 12 Mizzou students who were in Jacksonville on a Mizzou Alternative Breaks trip, and in August 2015, the chapter held a send-off event and presented freshman health science major Alexis Dekrell with the chapter’s first $1,000 scholarship. (Next year the newly minted Capstone Chapter will award a $4,000 scholarship.)
“The university has blessed us with a wonderful education,” says Matt Krueger, a digital marketing consultant at web.com. “It opened a thousand doors for me. I feel like I need to reciprocate and allow others to share and benefit from what I experienced.”